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LCI Student Publications

Brave Histories & Hopeful Futures, Vol. 2: Voices of a Refugee Community

Cover of Brave Histories and Hopeful Futures. Voices of a Refugee Community. Volume 2. Features a group of people with different genders and hairstyles that represent this refugee community.

Read and learn from these inspiring writers as they explore their identities, experiences, community and advocate for meaningful changes in the world. Through poetry, prose, narratives, letters and multimodal text productions, the students captured their histories, both joyful and sorrowful, and explored their anticipated futures. This book exhibits the beautiful resilience of diverse backgrounds through critical topics and creative prompts. Brave Histories & Hopeful Futures: Voices of a Refugee Community, Volume 2 shows how individual and collective voices come together to demonstrate the strength of their community.

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Brave Histories & Hopeful Futures

Brave Histories & Hopeful Futures: Voices of a Refugee Community was produced was produced through a collaboration between Refugee Hope Partners (RHP) and NC State University’s Literacy and Community Initiative (LCI). During the 2021-2022 school year, RHP students gathered on Saturday mornings to participate in writing workshops led by LCI. The students explored ideas relating to identity, experience, community and change. Through poetry, prose, narratives and letters, the students captured their brave histories and hopeful futures. This book details experiences of escaping dangerous countries, reflects on what it means to belong and calls for action against inequity. Brave Histories & Hopeful Futures: Voices of a Refugee Community serves as a way to share individual and collective voices of strength.

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About the Project

In spring 2021, LCI piloted our program with Refugee Hope Partners, and by fall of 2021, we commenced a full rollout. Meeting in the community center at the heart of their apartment complex, we worked on writing poetry, narratives, letters and stories on Saturday mornings. Together we explored identity, experience, beliefs and made calls to action. Through writing and sharing their stories, the nearly 20 students who participated grew closer and stronger.

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The Roots of Our People: From One World to Another

Young authors based out of Garner Magnet High School wrote and published bilingual memoirs, poems, letters, vignettes and essays to illustrate their roots of where they’re from, explore the dualities of their identities, and demonstrate the strength of the Latino community. In resounding individual and collective voices, these authors describe how they embrace the roots of their people while they pursue higher education, advance new opportunities and advocate for the immigrant community in America.

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The Voices of Our People: Nuestras Verdades

Following the publication of their first book, The Roots of Our People: From One World to Another, Juntos, the authors of the Hispanic Literacy Group from Juntos NC spent a year sharing their pieces through reading events across the Raleigh-Wake County area to increase awareness and advocate for the Hispanic immigrant population in our community and the greater immigrant community in our nation. They utilized these moments to lead and empower youth, while also standing up for those that cannot yet find their voice to stand up for themselves. This book follows their explorations with their relationship to their community but also advocates for the challenges and issues that they and their families face. This bilingual text is proudly and boldly written in the form of blackout poetry, interviews, autoethnographies, letters and poems. Collectively, these pieces demonstrate the power of our voices and our truths.

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Listen here:
 Aldo, Andrea, Briza, Kevin, Luis. (2019). “Micdrop: Juntos means Together.”
 #PassTheMicYouth, NC State University

The Realities of Our World: Las Realidades de Nuestros Mundos

Cover of The Realities of our Worlds: Las Realidades de Nuestros Mundos. Features an image of the earth being held up by hands.

In The Realities of Our Worlds, eight Hispanic young writers say “get to know me” to the reading audience. In this book, you will meet Maira, Miriam, Kamilah, Ana, Alvaro, Devin, Jonathan and Jeremie–multicultural and multilingual youth who live and study in North Carolina. The young authors use poetry, prose, narrative and letters to explore themes related to identity, family, traditions, culture and values that shape who they are and will become.

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Strong and Unbroken

This book holds the narratives of youth who are strong and unbroken despite forces that have held them back along the journey. Following Dr. Martin Luther King’s advice, they share how they have found ways to empower themselves and provide light to their communities.

About the Project

The 2018-2019 cohort of Bull City YouthBuild students in Durham, North Carolina, engaged in the publication process to help them reflect on their past lives as they look towards their positive futures. Not only did they construct a house together for their community in Durham, but also they constructed strong narratives to give voice to their stories.

Their journeys were not always easy, but their narratives reveal strength, perseverance and determination for holding fast to their unbroken lives. Through writing, publishing and sharing, the students were able to share themselves with their words.

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Blueprints: Building Lives and Redesigning Futures

On October 26, 1967, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. delivered a speech to teens at Barratt Junior High School in Philadelphia, PA. Unlike his national addresses, this speech entitled “What is your life’s blueprint?” offered personal advice to youth during a crucial part in their lives. In a high school auditorium, he urged them to draft a life’s blueprint and allow the blueprint to shape and guide the way which they construct their lives. In this collection of narratives and essays, Bull City YouthBuild students of Durham, North Carolina, adopted Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s speech on its 50th anniversary, not only setting upon the extended metaphor of blueprints to rebuild their lives, but also using actual blueprints to build a house together in Durham.

About the Project

In January 2018, the Triangle Literacy Council released Blueprints: Rebuilding Lives and Redesigning Futures, a collection of works by the first cohort of students of the Bull City YouthBuild. Student Press Initiative published the book with the help of NC State College of Education.

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See Unbroken Pieces Through the Shadows

In this book, you will find poetry, essays, memoirs and letters written by the 2019 cohort of Bull City YouthBuild students. Their words are honest and true. Together, they wrote about their experiences growing up within a system that has traditionally tried to hold them back and the ways in which they have persevered. Through the writing project sponsored by the Literacy and Community Initiative, the Bull City YouthBuild students wrote together as they reflected on their past in designing their futures. They drew on Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s advice as they worked to be the best of whatever they are. The stories of these youth do not reveal an easy journey. However, their words show strength, power and resilience in facing this struggle. As you read their narratives, you will find youth who stand unbroken, even through the shadows.

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Focus: Gateway to Success

Focus: Gateway to Success highlights the insight, brilliance and humor of the participants in Bull City YouthBuild (BCYB).

In collaboration with NC State University’s Literacy and Community Initiative (LCI), these engaged youth share their writing to counterstory the stereotypes they’ve experienced as young people in Durham, North Carolina. Through prose and poetry, the authors focus on the struggles they have already overcome and their hopes for the future.

Honest, compelling and pointed, the ideas shared by the authors challenge conceptions about what it means to be young, urban and engaged.

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A Leg Up

In A Leg Up, the student authors at CORRAL Riding Academy explore their stories in their first published book. Through writing, the authors have put words to their experiences and shared their reflections on life, community and identity. As they consider these concepts, they demonstrate the power of the written word to transform, heal and inspire.

About the Project

In 2019, LCI partnered with CORRAL Riding Academy, a faith-motivated nonprofit that prepares adolescent girls in high-risk situations with skills, resources, and opportunities so they can gain access to bright futures. They do this through a long-term, holistic program of equine therapy and education.

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Healing Starts with a Story

In Healing Starts with a Story, the young women at CORRAL Riding Academy explore questions related to their identities and experiences. Through a collaborative partnership with NC State University’s Literacy and Community Initiative, the young women participated in a year-long writing workshop, which resulted in this powerful collection. As they reflected on their past experiences, present challenges, and future dreams, the CORRAL authors revealed themselves to the world through their words. This book is a collection of their innermost thoughts, the lessons they have learned in life, and their aspirations for the future. Together, the girls pursue a journey of healing, which starts with a story.

About the Project

Healing Starts with a Story was written in the midst of the pandemic as the girls at CORRAL Riding Academy wrestled with making meaning out of life’s many difficulties.

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Growing at CORRAL

In Growing at CORRAL: Our Stories of Empowerment and Transformation, the youth writers at CORRAL Riding Academy reflect on and share about the unique experiences, people and memories that have shaped them. Utilizing various genres, they explored how the changes and challenges they have faced in life have ultimately led them to grow. Through a collaborative partnership with NC State University’s Literacy and Community Initiative, these young authors participated in a year-long writing program that culminated in the publication of this collection. Their effort, creativity and commitment to their communities are weaved throughout these pieces. As they share their journeys of empowerment and transformation with the world, they open up the possibility for others to do the same.

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